Thanks to Coronavirus Budget Cuts, 'Defund the Police' May Already Be Happening
States are now facing a budget shortfall due to the pandemic
As Democrats push toward defunding the police, cities are already in the process of slashing their police department budgets.
But the cuts are not just because of pressure from leftists; it is also because of spending cuts due to the pandemic.
Maryland recently decreased its state police department budget by 2%.
In June, New York City canceled the NYPD's class of more than 1,100 new recruits.
And Seattle made almost $3 million in cuts to the police.
Meanwhile, nearly half of the police chiefs and sheriffs surveyed by the Police Executive Research Forum said they were experiencing or expected to see budget cuts in the coming fiscal year in the 5%-10% range.
States are now facing a budget shortfall due to the pandemic.
Estimates suggest that revenue shortages could total more than $200 billion through this fiscal year.
Now states, as a result, are weighing up cuts to essential services, including education, healthcare, and public safety.
State and local governments have lost 1.5 million jobs since the coronavirus pandemic began.
But it seems the rallying cry to defund the police by Black Lives Matter seems somewhat redundant if it's already happening.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza told NBC's Meet the Press in June that her organization uses the term to mean a reallocation of police funds to other priorities rather than abolishing police departments.
In June, far-left Democratic 'squad' Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) announced federal legislation to defund police and set up reparations for people who are either black or harmed by law enforcement.
Both Tlaib and Pressley are sponsors of the BREATHE Act, which was announced on a Zoom call.“We can start to envision through this bill a new version for public safety — a new vision for public safety, one that protects and affirms black lives,” Tlaib said.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans in Congress disagreed on aid for states that fund police departments and other services.
Unions have warned cuts could mean longer 911 response times and layoffs of some police officers, first responders, and teachers.
“If in fact [Congress] fail[s] to help fund state and local governments during this pandemic, when you make that 911 call, there won't be enough people at the other end to respond because of the lack of resources that are here,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka during a press call earlier in August.
“It will affect every American out there in every facet of their lives, and it will be [Congress’s] responsibility because they failed to act,” said Trumka.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana recently said on the Senate floor that supporting essential public services was just as vital to the public and to the economic recovery as more small business loans and stimulus payments.
“I do not want to see a situation where, for example, cities slash police budgets and force layoffs of those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” said Cassidy.
“Mr. President, Congress should not let police officers, firefighters, first responders, teachers, sanitation workers, and others lose their jobs by the millions at a time when our country needs them most,” he said.